Czech Republic History

Germanic tribes had been living in the Central Europe before the 3rd century AD, but in the next few centuries they gradually moved westwards, and the land began to be inhabited from the 5th century onwards by Slavs coming from the east.  The migration was precipitated by the invasion of Hun, Avars and other tribes.  Czech states emerged from the 7th century onwards in Bohemia and Moravia, merged late into a Bohemian Kingdom, which finally became part of the Holy Roman Empire. 

 

The 13 th century saw immigration of Germans back into Czech lands and formed colonies near the western region, the invasion in 1241 by the Mongols and the defeat of the Czechs by the Roman Empire in 1278.

 

Several religious wars (including the Thirty Years’ war), famines, diseases and invasions by the Ottomans and Tartars wiped out a significant portion of the population in the 15th and 17th centuries.  Meanwhile starting from 1620, the Czechs lost their sovereignty when the Habsburgs became the hereditary rulers of Bohemia and established Catholicism as the sole religion in the land.

 

The Hapsburgs ruled the Czechs for the next 300 years until WW I, when the Czechs and Slovaks formed the independent country of Czechoslovakia despite cultural and economic differences which were never overcome and became the cause of the split of the republic 75 years later. 

 

In any event, the presence of a significant German minority (about 22% of the Czech population then) who immigrated to the Bohemia and Moravia region in the 13th century became the excuse for Hitler to annex and then invade Czechoslovakia despite the Munich Pact in 1938.  After WW II, Czechoslovakia was once again dominated by a foreign power, first by a communist regime backed by the Soviet Union and in 1968 by the invasion by the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact countries to oust the reformist leader Alexander Dubcek.

 

Human rights and other grievances in the 1970s and 1980s gradually culminated in a social movement led by the playwright Vaclav Havel to demand reforms, with the support of millions of Czechs and Slovaks.  The events which followed included collapse of the communist regime, holding of presidential and other elections, reforms in Soviet Union which loosened control of its satellite nations, emergence of a Slovak movement for independence, and finally the separation of Czechoslovakia into two separate states in 1993.

Last edited Dec 10, 08 6:42 PM. Contributors: Andrew W.

Travel Tips for History of Czech Republic

Prague, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
Absolutely adored Prague! They call Paris the city of love and romance, but Prague was way better in my opinion. It is the only capital city in Europe that wasn't bombed to pieces in the second world war. That means that the structures have crediblitiy architechually. I spent heaps of time on the Charles Bridge (which is where INXS filmed the video for Never Tear Us Apart from the Kick album). The Charles Bridge is full of artists and has amazing statues. The castle over looks the the bridge and the river and is definitely worth a visit. It has the most amazing stained glass in the church windows and a fascinating history in regards to be built. On the other side of the bridge are shops with the most amazing jewellery and glasswork, wonderful restaurants that include quality Czech cusine, the clock that puts on a show on the hour and Wencheles Square (can't spell that name) which is named after that king that we sing about in Christmas carols. I had another really good cheeseburger at the McDonalds at this square too. Prague has an underground train system, which is fast, but you might need to wait to arrive. It closes around midnight, so if you need a taxi back to your lodgings after visiting the very stimulating five storied nightclub (a good night out) haggle a bit. Absinthe (the very alcoholic beverage that Van Gogh was drinking when he cut his ear off) is very affordable and available in Prague. But limit yourself to two or three shots and forget the chasers, otherwise you will be in bed by 8pm and missing out on the clubbing!
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Prague, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
This is so funny, because i was there as the tour guide and dont remember too much besides that i was so nervous to caring about my travelers on trip :-) But i remember few sights on it, like the great tower clock in the old town on market square and Hradczany, and museum of natural history and mmm so delicious beer and knedlicky :-) You must try them all too!
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Prague, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
The perfect city, it belongs to my Top 5. History at every corner, vibrant and alive, great and welcoming people, good beers, nice nightlife...
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Usti nad Labem, North Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
The special part of my lovely hometown with own history. Dont ask locals for changing moneyD. ont forget to lock your car doors! Maticni street :-)
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Lidice, Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic
The biggest tourist attraction is the Lidice memorial and museum, telling the story of Nazi retaliation for the assassination of Reich protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. If you are not a WWII history fanatic with a taste for gruesome and depressing details, pretty much the same story can be heard without leaving Prague, when visiting the Orthodox church of St. Cyril and Methodeus, also linked to the events of the assassination. If you're already there, do not miss the town's art gallery.
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